Hot bat earns Harrison start in right for Bucs

Hot bat earns Harrison start in right for Bucs

Hot bat earns Harrison start in right for Bucs
PITTSBURGH -- Josh Harrison's expanding resume gained another new entry on Monday: Right field. That was the Pirates super-utility player's home in the starting lineup against Mets lefty Johan Santana.

Harrison's first career appearance in right followed earlier starts at third, shortstop and second. Harrison also was the starting designated hitter in one of the weekend's Interleague games in Detroit, and has popped up in left as part of a late-game double-switch.

Manager Clint Hurdle considered giving Gorkys Hernandez his big league baptismal against Santana, but concluded Harrison couldn't be denied.

"It would've been the right fit for Gorkys, but Harrison is swinging the hot bat," Hurdle said. "He's had a very good week (8-for-22). I continue to look for opportunities to get him plugged in."

The 24-year-old Cincinnati native is taking advantage of a new baseball order in which versatility rules. That hasn't always been the case; until expanded pitching staffs put the squeeze on benches, being known as a player without a position was considered a liability.

"I can say from experience how that has changed," Harrison said. "Being able to play more than one position is how I got my call. It's a role I embrace; playing different positions can help the team. In Spring Training this year, they wanted me to add some outfield reps to see if I could add some value for days like this without it being totally foreign to me."

However, Harrison indicated he hadn't played a game in right field since his days at the University of Cincinnati.

Informed of that, Hurdle feigned relief and said, "I thought it was Little League. So I feel better already."